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China and Sweden should cooperate in sustainable development: Ambassador

By Chen Yingqun | | Updated: 2020-06-10 17:22
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China and Sweden have great potential for cooperation in the field of sustainable development, Swedish Ambassador to China Helena Sangeland said.

Sangeland said that as the ambassador of Sweden to China, she had taken notice of China's ambitions to achieve long-term sustainable development and to increase international cooperation.

Technology and practices from Sweden, in this case, will serve the needs of many cities in China.

"In order to create a truly sustainable world, for ourselves as well as future generations, it is key for us to succeed in developing cities with good living habitats by using long-lasting sustainable technologies," Sangeland said. "Cooperation to meet common challenges and for the common good is perhaps more important than ever."

An event focusing on Nordic opportunities amid China's rapid urban development was held at the Swedish embassy in Beijing on Tuesday.

A key project that China and Sweden work on together is the Yantai Hammarby Eco City in Yantai, East China's Shandong province. Its phase one is planned to be completed by 2022 and will see about 2,000 homes and an ice hockey arena developed, as well as office and retail facilities.

It is also a unique Swedish-style community inspired by Hammarby Sjostad, a smart eco-city that is considered a global model for urban redevelopment in Stockholm.

Jesper Jos Olsson, founder and CEO of White Peak, the developer of the Yantai Hammarby Eco City, said that the impact of COVID-19 is raising people's awareness of healthy and sustainable living.

"The strong sales performance of our Yantai Hammarby Eco City in April revealed the growing interest of Chinese customers in healthy and sustainable lifestyles, especially after COVID-19," Olsson said.

He added that the Hammarby model will soon be introduced in more cities in China, starting in White Peak's core markets of Shandong, North China's Hebei and Northeast China's Liaoning provinces, as he believes in the great potential of the Chinese market.

At the event, White Peak also signed procurement agreements with four multinational companies including ABB Group and Ikea, to provide sustainable Swedish products and services for Yantai Eco City. The total value of Swedish products to be purchased for the Eco City projects amounts to more than 100 million yuan ($14.1 million).

"We are integrating sustainability into every aspect of our retail operations. It is pleasant to see Swedish companies working together in China to apply sustainable solutions to Chinese consumers," said Freda Zhang, Swedish home furnishing retailer Ikea China commercial vice-president. Ikea will provide sustainable ranges and solutions to contribute to current and future Eco City projects.

The multinational industrial conglomerate ABB Group will provide intelligent products and solutions to help optimize energy allocation and utilization of buildings.

"Sustainable development is essential to our communities and the key to our long-term strategy and daily operations in China and the world for ABB. In ABB, we are running operations in a sustainable way and providing products, solutions and services to make cities and industries cleaner, safer, more resilient and more sustainable," said Zhang Zhiqiang, senior vice-president of ABB Group and managing director of ABB China.

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